The Home School Court Report
VOLUME XVII, NUMBER 2
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MARCH / APRIL 2001
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South Carolina
A close call with truancy charges

Literal interpretation

It was the end of the day and we walked into the children's schoolroom to find it littered with pencils, Legos™, and scraps of paper. "This room is a mess!" we gasped. "We will come back in 10 minutes-anything left on the floor will be thrown away!"

We left the room. We heard scurrying, shuffling-and muffled laughter. (Hmmm.) Finally, we heard them jump into bed, so we called down the hall, repeating our "trash and burn" threat.

When we returned to inspect their schoolroom, nothing was in sight . . . except their schoolbooks, piled neatly and conspicuously in the middle of the floor!

- Rick Hartman
Greenville, SC

A Home School Legal Defense Association member family recently learned the importance of following proper procedures for starting to home school. Legal problems started when this York County mother began teaching her daughter at home without formally withdrawing the girl from public school where she had been enrolled since the beginning of the school year. Initially, this family failed to comply with any of the options for home schooling under South Carolina law.

Approximately 10 days after beginning home schooling, the family joined an association for home schools under § 59-65-47 of the South Carolina Code, but by this time, school officials had filed a truancy petition in family court. HSLDA was able to obtain dismissal of the action against the family after discussing the matter with the York County assistant solicitor assigned to prosecute this case.

Parents who decide to remove their children from public school to begin home schooling should follow formal withdrawal procedures to ensure that unexcused absences do not accumulate. Additionally, prior to withdrawing a child from public school, parents should make arrangements to comply with one of the legal options for home schooling in South Carolina-and join HSLDA! — Dewitt T. Black